Myth and the hero’s journey

I decided it’s time I learned more formally about myth, and have begun to read Joseph Campbell’s book – written in 1949 – called:  The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

I first learned of Campbell via the PBS series he did with Bill Moyers in the ’80’s called:  The Power of Myth.  I was fascinated with the series, and with Campbell in particular.  HIs knowledge of world myth, and ability to expound on them was magic to me.  The fact that he saw value in George Lucas’ Star Wars movies as modern myth just made it all the better!

I’m hoping – expecting – to find insight that may apply to my own journey.  More on that later …

My personal myth – the Powers

Yesterday, I presented some ideas about the cosmos of my own personal myth.  Today, I’d like to talk about the Powers within my cosmos.  Some might call them gods, but I don’t have a frame of reference for gods.

Having said that, I spent the first 16 years of my life as a Catholic, and I dutifully attended church each Sunday.  However, once I had an opportunity to choose to attend, or not, I faded away from the Church.  I’ve got nothing per se against the institution; it just does not work for me.

My myth has Powers – not necessarily beings – but energy and intelligence.  I think it’s possible to have positive and negative energy, and hence positive and negative Powers.  Sorry, but that’s all I’ve got.  Gods and Powers are an enigma to me – I’m not completely sure how they fit into my world, nor into my life.  I just feel there’s “something out there”.  Something we may never know or understand.  That’s OK, too.

My personal myth – cosmos

It occurred to me that in order for me to create a myth for my own life, that my first step should be some commentary about the universe or cosmos within which I live.  How do I perceive my universe?

I envision a universe made of energy – a very fine and subtle energy.  I see a universe with secrets we may never know or understand, but are worthy of seeking to explain.  A universe with some sort of intelligence that exists within it.

I see all of us as an energy stream or consciousness within and part of that intelligence.  We can receive guidance and wisdom from that intelligence.  We can also be shown elements of what our Mission here on Earth could be, if we choose to accept the Call.

That Mission and Call are always there for us to perceive, accept and take on.  I don’t feel the Mission is hardwired within us, but on some level, I think it evolves out of our natural loves.

I strongly feel that when we’re ready to see it – really see it – then our ability to perceive it becomes real.

As Joseph Campbell said:

“Follow your bliss, and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”

In my own life, I’ve always been afraid to embrace my Call – to be all I can be.  Now I feel ready for it – not sure why, other than it’s my time.  The desire to Be has outweighed the Fear to stay in place.  I’m actually fearful to write the above line, but know that I must, if I’m going to break free of the fears that have ruled too much of my life.

The Universe is calling – I’m ready to answer.

A personal myth – coming home

I had a friend over for dinner this evening, and we reminisced for a time about past travels. He talked a bit about his travels to Europe, and I about a couple trips to York, England.

I told him that whenever I returned to York, it was like coming home for me. I was born in Canada to parents from Belgium & the Netherlands, so it was not a connection to England through DNA.

It was a connection at a soul level. I’ve always had an attachment to Arthurian legend, and I think it extends from that linkage.

I felt at peace walking around York, and grounded, too.

Anyway, our conversation got me to thinking about what my personal myth could look like. I’m keen to pursue some ideas about that, and I’ll start to look at it from a macro level tomorrow: my cosmos.

On the journey home

I’m writing this post by the side of the road, as I make my way home. I’m surrounded by this beautiful vista, and listening to Anathema playing “Internal Landscapes”.

I’m struck by the magnificence of life – sights, sounds and wonder – as I make my mini-pilgrimage home. All of the elements I mentioned above have combined to give me peace and a sense of comfort that it’ll all turn out right – I’ll find the perfect opportunity, and I’ll know it when I see it.

What could my personal myth look like today? Today’s struggle …

Well, that’s a question I’ve been asking myself for a while.  Which dragon do I need to slay?  Is it fear?  I’ve lived with that one for too much of my life.

Where do I need to stand up and be counted?

Which risk should I take that I simply cannot afford to NOT take in order to move my life forward?

I think part of being a hero is seeing and feeling the fear to move forward, yet deciding that movement is the only way to be saved.  The only way to change.  The only way to become all that we’re meant to be.

I’m sure you can tell I’m grappling (struggling??!!) with this today.  The old fear demons are taking hold, and I’m hoping that by writing about them today, that I’ll be able to move beyond them.

And, so it begins …

What if we could apply myth to our lives?  What if we could find meaning and hope through those myths for our lives – for us?

I’ve always been a bit envious of those who lived in the medieval world – when magic and myth was part of the fabric of one’s life.  (I realize it was not Avalon – life was tough and short.)  Those myths became – I would imagine – anchors that helped those living in that time to place themselves in the world.

I know that I don’t always feel my place in the world – or how I should fit into it.  Those same anchors don’t exist for me – never have.  But, I think they’re important.  And, I think that the lack of them in my life has left me somewhat adrift.

I must admit that during those times, all I had to move me forward was hope that there was more to me than I was showing the world.  Hope that I could anchor myself to something important and special for me.

I have a sense that I can find that anchor via myth.  Perhaps a myth of my own creation – just for me.

That’s what this blog is about, and that’s what I want to pursue.  Let’s see where this goes …